When I attended college in the latter half of the previous century, there were no career counselors at my school. My mother was a housekeeper at a hotel, my father, a factory worker; so “career” was not a word that was heard in my household. People got jobs, not careers; people worked because they had to, not to enrich their lives. Not only was I the first in my family to go to college, I was the first to want a satisfying career – a revolutionary in a very traditional family.
My family doctor was one of my favorite people, so it was only logical that I would be a physician. No one I knew, knew I’d need more than a low “C” GPA; or that I’d need more than high school Algebra I and II, and a basic Geometry course for acceptance to a pre-med program. Frightening to think, but several colleges accepted me into their pre-med programs. Luckily, these colleges weren’t on my short list. My first-choice college hadn’t responded to my application yet, so I called the admissions office. Luckier still, they told me I had been declined admission. My high school math and science coursework were seriously deficient in preparing me for a pre-med program. I decided to negotiate.
The Admissions’ person asked me if there were other programs in which I would be interested. With a little more conversation, I declared that I loved sociology and wanted to become a social worker. To my surprise, I heard the letters “O” and “K.” I would be admitted if I agreed to Sociology. Sociology is definitely not science, not math, right?
Right! At least until my third semester. Do you know how important a proficiency in statistics is for sociologists? OK, so I was the last to figure it out, but I had good reason – there was no one to ask, no one who knew the questions I was supposed to be asking.
Luckily for me, being at a Catholic college, I was in my third semester of compulsory Philosophy; and I loved it. There are no wrong answers in Philosophy; I could do this! I still remember my high school sweetheart’s dad asking me, “How much do philosophers make anyway?” He owned several small businesses and just didn’t understand.
Well, how much do philosophers make, anyway? Maybe the real question is about what kinds of careers Philosophy majors go into? There was no one around to ask that kind of question. And, anyway, I had five more semesters until graduation.
Junior year: Luck would inject itself into my life yet another time. You probably guessed – I met a recruiter from Cutco Cutlery. Who knew I knew how to sell the world’s sharpest cutlery? Stay tuned for future blogs in which I’ll tell the secrets to my meteoric rise in five different careers.